A bit of me wishes that Jesus had been a bit clearer about some things (and a bit less clear about others, maybe). Especially when it comes to the Kingdom of God, it’s at the heart of his message, and the message he gives his disciples to proclaim, but he never seems to spell out exactly what he means by it.
Through all these parables, he keeps saying ‘The Kingdom of God is like…’ Or ‘The Kingdom of God may be compared to…’ rather than ‘The Kingdom of God means (a)…(b)…(c)…’
Perhaps he’s hoping that we’ll know it when we see it – and perhaps what it means isn’t actually something that can be summed up exactly. So he gives a string of images and parables to point us to the Kingdom instead.
It’s organic and alive – it’s striking how many of his parables of the Kingdom involve seed sprouting (or not sprouting). The Word of God sows the seed in our hearts, and that seed has a life of its own. We can’t make it happen – though we can prepare and tend the soil in which the seed is sown to give it the best chance of bearing a good crop. And its outcomes can be beyond all proportion to what is sown, as it grows, fruits and seeds into one life (or a hundred lives) after another.
It’s developing and growing – and it’s mixed up with the world in a messy way which we can’t sort out just now, but which will one day be sifted and graded at the final harvest. The Kingdom can be as invisible and as powerful as yeast mixed with flour – but it may take some kneading and then some time for the dough to rise.
It’s precious, and worth a lifetime of searching to find it.
It looks to me as though there’s a chance that the signs of the Kingdom of God are all around us – after all, Jesus told us to proclaim that the Kingdom had come close, not to struggle to bring it from a great distance. Where can I see the signs of the Kingdom today?
Where have you seen those signs today?